I like writing suspense-based short stories similar to this one on Wattpad, but I don’t know how to assess if my writing is good or meets the expectations of the suspense genre, or if my stories qualify as short stories.

What metrics or concepts or principles should I use to evaluate my writing so I can determine if I am writing a good short story?

2 Answers 2


There is no one set of quality metrics when it comes to content, we can say some objective things about the structure and about technical issues like spelling and punctuation (but we don't on this stack, ever), but when it comes to the overall "quality" of a piece one man's doggerel is another's masterpiece.

The piece you have presented appears to be a short story, I haven't read it and do not care to that's not what this stack is for, but it is not big enough to be anything else but it doesn't appear to be small or controlled enough to fit in any of the micro-fiction categories that I am aware of.

  • which stack can best handles this type of questions? Sep 15, 2021 at 10:33
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    @ZainUlAbidin For the technical side there is an English Language group I haven't done anything over there in a long time so you'd have to check the rules before you jump in. I don't think they'll review whole pieces either but they can help with sentence structure etc...
    – Ash
    Sep 15, 2021 at 10:36
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    @ZainUlAbidin No site here will review your story. Speaking as an experienced user of both English Language sites (the other one being English Language Learners), you would need a question that's very, very narrow, asking about a single word or maybe a phrase, and then only "hard" questions can be asked on either of those sites (eg grammar).
    – Laurel
    Sep 15, 2021 at 11:06
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    Or find a writing group to exchange critiques
    – Weckar E.
    Sep 15, 2021 at 22:29
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    @ZainUlAbidin We do have a beta reviewers chatroom where you can post your story and discuss feedback. Though our chat activity is a little low, everyone with 20+ rep is welcome to participate.
    – linksassin
    Sep 16, 2021 at 2:22

Short stories, especially flash fiction, are self-contained (beginning/middle/end). Sharp, hard-hitting, unforgettable. A story you can read in ten minutes but remember for a lifetime. Or at least a month or two... :) No back story, time shifts or passive voice. Readers see and hear everything through your main character's eyes, ears and thoughts.

Title => hook readers with an attention grabbing title that says "Come on in. This story is worth your time."

Beginning => start with a compelling character in conflict with a unique, attention getting problem.

Middle => deepen the conflict by showing how that external problem relates to his/her internal struggles.

End => wrap your story up quickly and completely so readers are not left with a confused or to-be-continued feeling. Finish in a way that resonates with the beginning so your readers see the deeper significance of the story.

Make every word count so every sentence reveals more about your character and moves the story forward Focus on the quality of the words you use (language) => rhythm, subtlety, sensory detail. Focus on the quality of the story (plot) => Brevity (word count) is about quantity, whereas concision (keep it simple stupid) is about quality (maximize showing, minimize telling, sharp images, nouns that don't need adjectives, active verbs that don't need adverbs).

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